“God wants to lift us up and the devil wants to press us down. Satan uses the negative events and situations of our life to depress us. The dictionary definition of word depress is ‘to lower in spirits: sadden.’ According to Webster, something depressed is ‘sunk below the surrounding region: Hollow.’ Depress means to sink, to press down or hold down below ground level. We regularly have the opportunity to think negative thoughts, but they will only press us down further. Being negative won’t solve our problems; it will only add to them.”
Boy, do I find this true. This week, I am facing a relationship that is not what I would like and my mind is filled with negative thoughts about this situation. It seems hopeless, it felt hopeless. I know that if I am learning something from God, I will be tested in it. And so I am. This relationship, was becoming very discouraging to me. I felt overwhelmed in grief over what I wanted and needed and am not getting or seeing. This discouragement seemed to pollute my heart. All my minutes where spent trying not to think about it but still thinking about it. I felt depressed, sink and held down by my discouragement.
Here is what Joyce writes:
Depression oppresses a person’s spiritual freedom and power. Our spirit (empowered and encouraged by God’s spirit) is powerful and free. Therefore, Satan seeks to oppress its power and liberty by filling our mind with darkness and gloom. Please realize that it is vital to resist the feeling called ‘depression’ immediately upon sensing its arrival. The longer it is allowed to remain, the harder it becomes to resist.
Far too often when people get depressed, it is because they are in need of something, and they seek it in the wrong place, which only adds to their problems.”
I found this to be so true. This week I so struggled with allowing my perspective of my situations and my needs to rule in my thinking. I was miserable. At first, it just started with me being sad about what I wasn’t seeing. But as time passed and my thoughts had time to reproduce. My heart became heavier and heavier. Till by Friday, I was completely lost in hopelessness. I know what God says about this situation but my mind couldn’t seem to focus on that and my emotions rioted against peace and hope.
Finally, the Holy Spirit quicken my heart that I was allowing myself to rule in my thinking, instead of Him. The path I was on was death. Only I didn’t recognize it because it was very much real or true. Just because a path is true, doesn’t make it right. I had to repent for allowing Jenni to rule. My needs in this situation were very high. My hurt emotional thoughts were a justification for me to be on that path of negative thinking. My unconscious thought is, my needs are legitimate so this path I am on must be too, right?” Instead of trusting God to meet my needs in this relationship, I was trying to take what I needed. Oh how, I long for the day when I will trust the Lord with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind. I am still in process. This last week was part of the process. I had to locate my heart. It was in me getting what I wanted, and when that didn’t happen, I medicated my pain with negative thoughts. Logical, right? But so not beneficial. In fact it only lead to more misery. I saw the situation as it was and not how God’s plan for it is.
The Lord is ever gracious to me. As I cried out, He spoke this to me…..”My grace is sufficient for you.” Instead of looking at the reality of what I am seeing. I am going to focus on this. “God gives me the grace, I need to overcome in this situation.” I felt out of control in my emotions and hopeless in my vision…that was not God’s plan. It was the enemy’s! As I began to speak out that I received His grace for this moment, I felt waves of peace flood my being. See, I know nothing is impossible for God. So, my impossible situation is totally possible for Him. I have the grace of God(all His power, all His wisdom, all His ability) for this relationship. That is so empowering. The more I focused on that, the more joyful I felt. He became like the Psalmist wrote in Psalms 3:3 ” The glory and lifter of my head.” I was bowed down, sunk in defeat and hopelessness but He lifted me up by filing me with His glory. Praise be to God!
Joyce gives 8 steps for overcoming depression. I would like to list them here, in the hope, that if you are struggling with this, that God’s grace would come to you and empower you to overcome, just as He did me.
1. Identify the nature and cause of the problem:
Psalm 143:3 For the enemy has pursued and persecuted my soul, he has crushed my life down to the ground; he has made me to dwell in dark places as those who have been long dead.
2. Recognize that depression steals life and light:
Psalm 143:4 Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed and faints within me [wrapped in gloom]; my heart within my bosom grows numb
3. Remember the good times:
Psalm 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I ponder the work of Your hands.
4. Praise the Lord in the midst of the problem:
Psalm 143:6 I spread forth my hands to You; my soul thirsts after You like a thirsty land [for water]. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
5. Ask God for help:
Psalm 143:7 Answer me speedily, O Lord, for my spirit fails; hide not Your face from me, lest I become like those who go down into the pit (the grave).
6. Listen to the Lord:
Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for on You do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to You.
7. Pray for deliverance:
Psalms 143:9 Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I flee to You to hide me.
8. Seek God’s wisdom, knowledge, and leadership:
Psalms 143:10 Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me into level country and into the land of uprightness.